Corrections And Rehabilitation – Criminal Justice Online http://criminaljustice-online.com/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 14:34:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://criminaljustice-online.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon.png Corrections And Rehabilitation – Criminal Justice Online http://criminaljustice-online.com/ 32 32 Center County Correctional Facility Needs Outdoor Recreation https://criminaljustice-online.com/center-county-correctional-facility-needs-outdoor-recreation/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 12:00:00 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/center-county-correctional-facility-needs-outdoor-recreation/ OPINION AND COMMENT Editorials and other opinion content provide viewpoints on issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our newsroom reporters. Center County Correctional Facility on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com People incarcerated in our county jail – Center County Correctional Facility (CCCF) – never have outdoor recreation. […]]]>

OPINION AND COMMENT

Editorials and other opinion content provide viewpoints on issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our newsroom reporters.

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Center County Correctional Facility on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.

adrey@centredaily.com

People incarcerated in our county jail – Center County Correctional Facility (CCCF) – never have outdoor recreation. Unless an inmate goes out on work release, he never goes out, period. They never feel the sun. Because the cellblocks’ small windows are opaque, they can’t even see the outside. Imagine for a minute what that looks like.

The lack of vitamin D, which the sun brings us, has serious mental and physical side effects. The biological clock is off. Sleep patterns are disrupted. This is inhumane and unacceptable in our community where we embrace restorative justice, redemption and rehabilitation.

In the late 1970s, I advocated for outdoor recreation at the Earlier County Jail behind the Bellefonte Courthouse. This prison commission decided to respect the standards. They hired more staff, provided inmates with access to the law library, family visits and outdoor recreation. The outdoor recreation area wasn’t huge but it was mostly outdoors.

Four decades later, in 2018, I once again found myself before the county prison board arguing for outdoor recreation. Indeed, when the CCCF opened in 2005, the prison board allowed the construction of the new prison without outdoor recreational facilities. It’s a wonder because outdoor recreation was and is enshrined in Pennsylvania law.

The minimum requirements for outdoor recreation in county jails established by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) state:

(1) Prisons shall provide all prisoners with at least 2 hours a day of outdoor physical exercise, weather permitting. In case of bad weather, each detainee must have 2 hours of physical exercise a day indoors.

(4) Inmates on disciplinary status or in segregation will be provided with one hour of outdoor activity 5 days a week. (Title 37 § 95.238)

State CCCF inspections by the DOC have, thus far, given our prison a pass on these requirements – but why? CCCF’s recreation facilities consist of relatively small interior spaces with a garage door like window high up on an exterior wall. Sometimes this window is open.

The law states that inmates should have “daily physical exercise outdoors” and, if the weather is bad, “each inmate should have 2 hours of physical exercise daily indoors”. The opposite of “inside” could be nothing but “outside”. An open garage door above hardly constitutes an “open-air activity” (1) and even less an “outdoor activity” (4).

The prison board ignored me in 2018. Sadly, four years later, they continue to ignore the need for outdoor recreation at CCCF, even though more citizens than me are speaking out. Search the Center County YouTube channel online to access prison board recordings from April, July, September and October of this year, when local citizens raised concerns about it.

SCI Rockview and all state prisons and most county jails have outdoor recreation. Rockview’s treatment director often granted inmates with special treatment needs an “extra yard”, which meant that instead of the minimum two hours of outdoor recreation, they received four hours. He said: “The more time in the yard, the less trouble there is in the block.”

According to the American Correctional Association, there should be no punishment in our jails and prisons beyond taking liberty. The CCCF imposes cruel punishment. The county prison board has been silent on genuine outdoor recreation at CCCF.

The DOC says Center County can build recreation parks if it chooses. The DOC does not prevent outdoor recreation. It is the prison board that prohibits outdoor recreation.

The cost of outdoor recreation at CCCF pales in comparison to the damage inflicted on our returning citizens, their families and our community.

Marie Hamilton is the founder of CentrePeace and co-founder of the Center for Alternatives in Community Justice. She served as area representative for the Pa. Prison Society and criminal justice reform representative for the Middle District Church of the Brethren.

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Powwows resume at Washington state prisons after pandemic-forced hiatus: NPR https://criminaljustice-online.com/powwows-resume-at-washington-state-prisons-after-pandemic-forced-hiatus-npr/ Sat, 19 Nov 2022 10:00:40 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/powwows-resume-at-washington-state-prisons-after-pandemic-forced-hiatus-npr/ Dancers make their grand entrance into a meeting room at the start of a late October powwow at the Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane, Washington. Doug Nadvornik/Doug Nadvornik hide caption toggle caption Doug Nadvornik/Doug Nadvornik Dancers make their grand entrance into a meeting room at the start of a late October powwow at the […]]]>

Dancers make their grand entrance into a meeting room at the start of a late October powwow at the Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane, Washington.

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Dancers make their grand entrance into a meeting room at the start of a late October powwow at the Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane, Washington.

Doug Nadvornik/Doug Nadvornik

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. – Inmate James Rousseau recalls the last pow wow he attended at the Airway Heights Corrections Center, a few miles west of Spokane, Wash.

“I was here in 2019 before COVID hit,” he said. “I was here at the MSU (minimum security unit) camp and we had the powwow. We had a good turnout and a great time. It was good to be with my people.”

Rousseau grew up on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota. Little did he know that this would be the last powwow he would attend in three years.

When the pandemic hit, the Washington prison powwow program was suspended, as were some of the other spiritual activities that Native American inmates had access to. It was deemed too dangerous to hold them back.

“We were very quick in 2020 to work with the state, on the advice of aboriginal elders, who realized that COVID and the sweat lodge, or COVID and anything that was done in a circle in confined spaces, wouldn’t be compatible,” said Gabe Galanda, a Seattle attorney and member of California’s Round Valley Indian Tribes.

Galanda is also the founder of Huy (pronounced HOYT), a Seattle nonprofit Indigenous rights group that works with the state to hold powwows behind prison walls.

For the past two and a half years, Washington prisons, like others around the country, have battled COVID outbreaks among inmates and staff. The state Department of Corrections reports more than 16,000 confirmed cases. Eighteen inmates died. Those who tested positive were separated into COVID units on the prison grounds. The most serious cases were evacuated to outside health facilities. The men and women who remained healthy were often isolated in their cells.

This isolation has taken its toll. As COVID became less of a threat, Galanda saw an opening.

“Through Huy, we have been advocating through the Department of Corrections to ease health restrictions as society pitches in around COVID to increase opportunities for worship. indigenous,” he said.

Galanda says correctional officials agreed it was time to start the powwows again. Earlier this year, negotiations began on how and when to do so. Both sides had hoped to bring the celebrations back behind prison walls in late spring or early summer to coincide with the area’s powwow season.

“It really came down to protocols and working with the Department of Health, working with our own epidemiologist and, really, we were threading a needle to make these powwows happen,” the Secretary of State said. corrections, Cheryl Strange.

Strange and Galanda say the negotiations have been difficult at times. They would make progress and then have to postpone their plans until further outbreaks subside, even as late as last summer, Galanda said.

Eventually, the agency agreed to hold about 20 powwows in September and October. The first was on the grounds of Walla Walla State Penitentiary on September 8.

The Airway Heights minimum security unit powwow is one of the last in the series. It’s late October and too cold to party outside, so the inmates gather in a large meeting room.

Prison officials had to work quickly to make this happen. There were a lot of logistical details, said Kay Heinrich, associate superintendent of programs at Airway Heights. Staff conduct background checks on visitors and arrange security measures for foreigners visiting the prison. They also work to ensure the ceremony is culturally appropriate, including the food.

“We have the buffalo stew, the salmon, which are all Native American upgrades that they don’t normally get,” she said.

Inmates are also making preparations. As soon as they learned they would be entitled to a pow-wow, Rousseau and other Native inmates set to work making gifts for the visitors.

“I made dreamcatchers. I made medallions. I made earrings,” Rousseau said.

Among the jewelry at the powwow were intricate beaded pieces made by inmate Jason McIlwain of Forks, Wash.

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Among the jewelry at the powwow were intricate beaded pieces made by inmate Jason McIlwain of Forks, Wash.

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Inmate Jason McIlwain of Forks, Washington, and a member of the Shoshone tribe, worked for weeks to create some of the intricate beaded pieces that now rest on a long table to the side of the room.

“Beading for me is almost like meditation. It’s where I find my happy place when I’m not inside the lodge,” he said.

When the powwow begins, the dancers make their grand entrance into the assembly hall. The first men carry large flags. Several dancers wear colorful badges and shake tiny bells on their costumes as they move to the beat of the small group of drummers in the center of the room. The dancers circle around them, each moving in their own way, some exerting great effort.

McIlwain and Rousseau are more restrained, both in their movements and in their dress. Both are dressed in brown t-shirts and beige pants.

Rousseau watches the others while he dances. At 55, he’s the eldest here and happy to let the younger men strut their stuff.

“Grass dancing and fantasy dancing are for young people,” he said. “Traditional men’s dance, stealth and chicken dance are all more or less for elders. Traditional, you don’t have to move around so much and jump around,” he laughed.

Richard Dennison is one of the youngest. He wears borrowed powder blue and white insignia and a blue bandana. He is from the Spokane tribe and grew up around powwows, but moved away from them as he got older.

“I didn’t really get into dancing and stuff until I got to jail because I was running around doing other things that I shouldn’t have done,” he said, in part for why he was assigned to Airway Heights while incarcerated. in 2019. It is expected to be released in 2026.

Several family members, including Dennison’s children, have traveled to the prison to celebrate the day with him, and he is nervous.

“My kids, my mom and my dad, no one’s ever really seen me dance like that before,” he said.

Dennison’s time behind bars allowed him to break a drug addiction and begin to rediscover his legacy. He says he participates in activities like the sweat lodge and looks forward to more spiritual options as health restrictions ease.

For years, powwows in Washington prisons have been funded by the Department of Corrections. But the state suffered budget cuts at the time of the Great Recession in 2008 and powwows have been eliminated.

Gabe Galanda and Huy stepped in to work with the state to reinstate the program in 2012. Every year since then, Huy has raised the funds to cover the costs of hosting the 22 powwows, or about $35,000 this year.

“We pay for things like food. A lot of these celebrations have salmon and even buffalo served. Wild rice rather than what would be staple food,” he said. “We pay for badges, beads and other things needed to sew and prepare gifts.”

Galanda says it’s money well spent. He was reminded of the value of powwows when he attended the celebration at Walla Walla.

“There were six men who had learned to sing and drum and dance and had sewn their badges for the first time in their lives and there they were in the circle, wearing the badges they had made and dancing the steps that they had made. ‘they had learned the songs they had also learned,” he said. “It’s pretty miraculous to witness that kind of growth and rehabilitation, especially in a prison environment. Honestly it’s not something they would experience in the outside world because of the environment they were raised in and live in and it’s the environment that contributed to the error that they have committed.”

Kay Heinrich of the Airway Heights Corrections Center says powwows are an important motivational and behavioral tool.

“They change their behavior to make sure they can participate,” she said. “I just spoke to them a little while ago, they asked if they could do it again next year. And I was like, ‘Are you going to be okay?’ And they’re like, ‘Oh yeah.’ It’s important because their families come. They’re always grateful. They always say thank you.”

Heinrich says powwows have another benefit as well.

“I think it’s helpful for all the staff, custodial and support staff, because I think they see the incarcerated in a different light, how important it is, how their family members come and how they interact in healthy prosocial ways,” she said.

James Rousseau has no visitors at the powwow, but he says he’s happy to see the other men enjoying their loved ones. He assumes his role of elder.

“I encourage young people. I see them and I say: ‘How are you?’ and I shake their hands. ‘Hey, are you doing anything for the powwow?’ ” he said. “I care about them and it makes me happy to be able to do this.”

Huy founder Galanda and Head of Correction Strange said they plan to bring the powwows back in 2023, perhaps closer to the traditional season.

“Fingers crossed we’ll keep going,” Strange said.

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Incarcerated man dies by suicide in Pima County Jail https://criminaljustice-online.com/incarcerated-man-dies-by-suicide-in-pima-county-jail/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 23:52:55 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/incarcerated-man-dies-by-suicide-in-pima-county-jail/ Pima County A man incarcerated at the Pima County Adult Detention Complex committed suicide Tuesday night, according to the Pima County Sheriff’s Office. At around 7.50pm on November 15, corrections officers were making rounds when they located a man in his cell, whom police identified as 50-year-old Hugh Gillespie Burford. Authorities said officers entered the […]]]>

Pima County

A man incarcerated at the Pima County Adult Detention Complex committed suicide Tuesday night, according to the Pima County Sheriff’s Office.

At around 7.50pm on November 15, corrections officers were making rounds when they located a man in his cell, whom police identified as 50-year-old Hugh Gillespie Burford.

Authorities said officers entered the cell and immediately began emergency rescue procedures with medical personnel until Tucson firefighters arrived.

Medical personnel pronounced Burford dead after attempting to resuscitate him, the sheriff’s department said.

Burford was incarcerated in the Pima County Jail on Nov. 11 for trafficking in stolen property and possession of a controlled substance, according to the sheriff’s department.

Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division responded to the jail and found no signs of trauma or suspicious circumstances, officials said. The investigation is still ongoing.

The number of attempted suicides in Arizona prisons for fiscal year 2020 was 91, down 81 from the previous year, according to data from the Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation. arizona. The number of suicide deaths among incarcerated people also fell by one this fiscal year, to a total of six, the data showed.

Additionally, Native Americans were disproportionately affected by suicide in general with a rate in 2018 that was 3.5 times higher than those in racial and ethnic groups with the lowest rates.

Reach out to breaking news reporter Vic Verbalaitis at vverbalaitis@gannett.com or on Twitter @VicVerb.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Incarcerated man dies by suicide in Pima County Jail

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West Virginia man faces felony charges after allegedly shooting children with BB gun https://criminaljustice-online.com/west-virginia-man-faces-felony-charges-after-allegedly-shooting-children-with-bb-gun/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 16:26:22 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/west-virginia-man-faces-felony-charges-after-allegedly-shooting-children-with-bb-gun/ COALTON, W.Va. (WBOY) – A Randolph County man faces criminal charges of child neglect creating a risk of injury and unlawful assault after deputies say he shot and killed two 5 and 7 year olds with a Red Ryder BB gun. According to a news release from the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, the 911 call […]]]>

COALTON, W.Va. (WBOY) – A Randolph County man faces criminal charges of child neglect creating a risk of injury and unlawful assault after deputies say he shot and killed two 5 and 7 year olds with a Red Ryder BB gun.

According to a news release from the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, the 911 call came in around 7 p.m. from a home on Bennett Loop Road in Coalton.

Tyler Garner

Deputies say the caller told deputies two children were running around his yard and playing on a trampoline, and Tyler Garner, 25, was shooting a BB gun. The caller claimed Garner was shooting in the woods and the children rushed into his line of fire, according to the statement.

The responding deputy said he spoke to the 7-year-old involved, who said Garner pointed the BB gun at him and a 5-year-old and Garner shot them multiple times.

The 7-year-old had a visible mark on his collarbone, according to the deputy who answered. The deputy then performed a wellness check on the 5-year-old and found that he had a ‘baby-like welt near his hip/ribcage’.

I could see it’s an accident if there was [one] bb was fired and it hit a minor, but not two. The Daisy Red Ryder is only designed to fire a bullet with the trigger before you have to use lever action to reload the gun. Only then is he ready to fire again.

A press release from the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office

Garner was arrested and charged with neglect of a child creating a risk of injury and unlawful assault. He is being held at Tygart Valley Regional Jail, and the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation lists no bond.

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100-year prison sentence overturned for Minot man who killed his father – InForum https://criminaljustice-online.com/100-year-prison-sentence-overturned-for-minot-man-who-killed-his-father-inforum/ Fri, 11 Nov 2022 22:47:00 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/100-year-prison-sentence-overturned-for-minot-man-who-killed-his-father-inforum/ BISMARCK — A 100-year prison sentence for a Minot man convicted of murdering his father in 2019 has been overturned. The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled last year’s sentence against Christopher Alan Vickerman, 32, illegal, according to a notice released Thursday (November 10th). A new hearing has not been set for Friday. Vickerman faced life […]]]>

BISMARCK — A 100-year prison sentence for a Minot man convicted of murdering his father in 2019 has been overturned.

The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled last year’s sentence against Christopher Alan Vickerman, 32, illegal, according to a notice released Thursday (November 10th). A new hearing has not been set for Friday.

Vickerman faced life in prison without parole after a jury found him guilty of shooting dead Mark Vickerman, 55, on May 10, 2019.

Ward County Judge Douglas Mattson sentenced Vickerman to 100 years, although he only had to serve 80 years if he had not violated supervised probation for five years after his release . The defendant also had nearly three years of credit for time spent awaiting trial.

The two Vickermans had a rocky relationship and argued over business, money and custody of Christopher Vickerman’s children, Minot Daily News reported. The defense claimed Christopher Vickerman was schizophrenic and had no control over his actions, but prosecutors said no mental health professional found him unfit to stand trial, the newspaper wrote.

Prosecutors also claimed Christopher Vickerman planned the murder for months, the Daily News reported.

Mattson called Christopher Vickerman’s conduct “despicable”, according to court documents. The judge said he handed down the long sentence in an effort to make it harder for the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to release him sooner, according to court documents.

Defendants convicted of murder can apply for parole after serving 85% of their sentence. If a person is sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, judges are supposed to determine the life expectancy of the convict so that the DOCR knows the estimated release date.

Vickerman was scheduled to be released from the state penitentiary in 2087.

If the sentence stood, Vickerman would have served 66 years and would have been 96 when he was eligible for parole. Vickerman’s appeals attorney, Robert Martin, argued that Mattson gave Vickerman a sentence that exceeded his life expectancy.

The state high court agreed.

Martin also argued in the state Supreme Court that his client deserved a new trial. Martin claimed Mattson should not have allowed prosecutors to present Mark Vickerman’s statements to jurors, including one in which the father said police should turn to his son if Mark Vickerman had died by violence.

Others testified to the father’s fears that Christopher Vickerman could harm him.

The statements were admissible in court because they showed the state of mind of the victim before his death, the Supreme Court ruled.

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Hodgson loses to challenger Heroux in Bristol County Sheriff’s race https://criminaljustice-online.com/hodgson-loses-to-challenger-heroux-in-bristol-county-sheriffs-race/ Wed, 09 Nov 2022 15:40:28 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/hodgson-loses-to-challenger-heroux-in-bristol-county-sheriffs-race/ NEW BEDFORD — Despite a deadly campaign and a tight election night race against 25-year-old incumbent Thomas Hodgson, Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux said he and his team have “good vibes” as they await the results. of Bristol County Sheriff’s Race at Somerset VFW. “I knew early on that the race was going to be tight. […]]]>

NEW BEDFORD — Despite a deadly campaign and a tight election night race against 25-year-old incumbent Thomas Hodgson, Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux said he and his team have “good vibes” as they await the results. of Bristol County Sheriff’s Race at Somerset VFW.

“I knew early on that the race was going to be tight. We all knew that, but somehow we suspected that we were going to win. In fact, at one point I took my team aside and said to them: “Guys, we’re going to win this.'”

He was back at his post as mayor of Attleboro in the morning, having turned up around 4 a.m., and was scheduled to attend a Council on Aging meeting and a new high school development meeting before a conference of press at his home to discuss his victory.

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Arkansas Board of Corrections approves start of site selection process for new prisons https://criminaljustice-online.com/arkansas-board-of-corrections-approves-start-of-site-selection-process-for-new-prisons/ Fri, 04 Nov 2022 09:27:36 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/arkansas-board-of-corrections-approves-start-of-site-selection-process-for-new-prisons/ PARAGOULD — The Arkansas Board of Corrections on Thursday authorized the Department of Corrections to begin the process of selecting a site for construction of a new correctional facility, and suggested it might be time to examine the search for prisons with which the State could contract to combat overcrowding. The Board of Correctional Services […]]]>

PARAGOULD — The Arkansas Board of Corrections on Thursday authorized the Department of Corrections to begin the process of selecting a site for construction of a new correctional facility, and suggested it might be time to examine the search for prisons with which the State could contract to combat overcrowding.

The Board of Correctional Services is creating three committees that will conduct studies on various topics surrounding prison expansion. The move came after Department of Corrections Secretary Solomon Graves told board members that the North Central Unit expansion and proposed new 1,000-bed correctional facility would not meet to future needs.

“It’s not about the long term if there’s no change in our population growth,” Graves said.

Graves said recent projects show that if the prison population continues to grow at 1.3% per year, the correctional system will need an increase of 2,200 beds by 2032.

“That means we would need 19,776 beds, an increase of 2,200 beds from our current 17,506,” he said. “That means we would need an additional 1,000 beds, and that includes the north-central expansion and the additional facility.”

Board Chairman Benny Magness proposed the creation of three committees: one that would explore the opening of a new supervisory sanctions center, another that would review contracted bed space to address the short-term capacity, and a third that would study site selection and design for a new 1,000-bed facility.

Graves told council he wanted the site selection process for the 1,000-bed correctional facility to run for 90 days to allow local elections to take place before a location is chosen.

“There may be changes to mayors, quorum courts and the like, and we want to make sure that community support when we open it this month stays in January and February,” he said. he declares. “It avoids a position where the quorum court approves in December, but when a new quorum court comes in, there’s no longer that support.”

A document obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette last week shows that the Department of Corrections will be soliciting expressions of interest from communities related to donating land.

“The land would be used for the construction of a maximum security facility housing approximately 1,000 inmates within the Division of Correction,” the document states.

The document states that the desired location would be 100 acres, not subject to flooding, near a hospital and adequate utilities, within 60 miles of an existing correctional facility, and located in a population center sufficient for recruiting and retaining staff.

Magness said officials should seek out two locations when reviewing possible sites to allow construction of a second new prison as soon as possible. He said he had recently heard rumors that lawmakers wanted to see three new prison facilities, but said he did not believe that was possible.

“It does not correspond to reality,” he said. “But I want a committee set up so that when we find a site after those 90 days, whichever was second can be set up as a place we can start on as soon as possible. “

OVERCROWDING

The expansion of the prison has come up repeatedly over the past year, with several lawmakers calling on the General Assembly to use part of its recent $1.6 billion surplus to build another facility.

A group of sheriffs across the state told lawmakers during a legislative session in March that overcrowding had reached a crisis point in their jails. They cited the growing number of state prisoners housed in county facilities, which has led to increased violence and the trivialization of gangs in these facilities. The group also spoke about the need for higher reimbursement rates for county jails that hold state prisoners.

Citing a 10-year projection of prison population growth, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said earlier this year he wanted to use the general revenue surplus to expand the Calico Rock North Central Unit by about 498 beds. Hutchinson said the proposed prison expansion was not a shift in criminal justice policy, but a way to deal with the state’s growing prison population.

The General Assembly approved a Fiscal Year 2023 Corrections Division appropriation that included $75 million in spending authority for North Central Unit expansion.

Graves said a request for quotes is underway for a design professional for the North Central Unit project. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Cindy Murphy previously said the estimated completion date for Phase 1 of the expansion was in 2025.

The department is opening a seventh community correctional center next year in Batesville. It will house about 700 offenders a year who would have been incarcerated in county jails for 90-day terms. The estimated cost is $9 million. Murphy said $4.3 million will be spent in the current fiscal year, with the balance being spent in fiscal year 2024.

On the same day the Board of Corrections gave its approval to move forward with the site selection process, it also approved the use of the state’s 90-day Emergency Powers Act to certify that a list of 83 women were eligible for immediate release if approved by the parole board. The council also used a year-long Emergency Powers Act to approve an additional list of 81 men and 42 women detained for immediate release due to overcrowding.

CONTRACTS FOR BED SPACE

Magness cited such numbers as the reason the Department of Corrections must again consider contracting beds to meet capacity.

“Because North Central hasn’t started yet and a new facility hasn’t started yet, I want this third committee to look at contracts for bed space somewhere,” he said. “We may have to do what we are doing now for several more years.”

Magness said there are currently just over 2,000 state inmates in county jails, and that number would need to reach a minimum of 3,000 before anything can be built.

“We’ve been through these contract situations before and it’s not pretty, but I think we need a third committee for bed contracts,” he said.

Magness suggested looking at local sheriffs’ offices before looking to contract jails in other states.

“That’s something we’re going to have to look at as a possible solution for bed space in the meantime,” he said. “It’s not long term like we envisioned when it was the 10 years in Bradley County. It could be something like two years.”

Magness said it’s time to tackle overcrowding in a way that goes beyond just fixing the problem, which could mean seeking contracts for bed space.

“I think the sheriff’s departments, or a lot of them, are putting so much pressure on us and lawmakers that we’re going to have to look at it,” he said.

Graves took a moment to outline the purpose of the prison system.

“We don’t want to be able to continue having this conversation,” he said. “We are in corrections, but as a state we need to do more than keep building prisons.”

Graves told high school students who were in attendance that the Department of Corrections’ priority was not incarceration but rehabilitation.

“When this administration started, we were seeing growth of 3% per year, and now it’s down to 1.3%. That’s progress,” he said. “We are a growing state, so all parts of our population will grow, including the correctional population. But we are and will remain committed at the staff level to implementing interventions for long-term growth.”

Graves said that by building new facilities, they can meet some of the prison system’s needs beyond just bed space.

“We can fit out this facility to reduce staffing requirements or fit out a facility to implement things like technology,” he said. “We can’t do this in places that go back to the Hoover administration.”

Graves said he also understood things like prison expansion and prison contracts would bring discomfort.

“It’s not where I want to be long term,” he said. “As a simple element of being a growing state, that’s where we are.”

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Journalist’s memoir of prison sentence banned in Florida jails https://criminaljustice-online.com/journalists-memoir-of-prison-sentence-banned-in-florida-jails/ Fri, 28 Oct 2022 10:01:00 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/journalists-memoir-of-prison-sentence-banned-in-florida-jails/ When an author’s book is banned or confiscated, one would imagine that the writer might be frustrated, even angry. But when Keri Blakinger learned that the Florida State Prison System had placed her book, Ink correctionstemporarily banned, she tweeted“Honestly, I AM SO PROUD.” Blakinger, who is a reporter covering prisons for The Marshall Project, really […]]]>

When an author’s book is banned or confiscated, one would imagine that the writer might be frustrated, even angry.

But when Keri Blakinger learned that the Florida State Prison System had placed her book, Ink correctionstemporarily banned, she tweeted“Honestly, I AM SO PROUD.”

Blakinger, who is a reporter covering prisons for The Marshall Project, really responded ironic – an ironic response to a really puzzling situation.

“It’s pretty hilarious that the prison system — now that I’m rehabilitated and doing good things in the world — is saying my writing is dangerously inflammatory,” she told NPR. “I also think it’s absurd that one of the reasons for the ban is that the book presents ‘a threat to the safety, order, or rehabilitation goals of the correctional system’. The book is literally a story rehabilitation.”

Blakinger was notified of the ban by The Prison Book Program, a non-profit group that had attempted to send a copy of her memoir to an inmate. The book was instead confiscated, meaning that until the Florida Department of Corrections Literature Review Board approves the book, it is banned from all state-run prisons.

The ministry told NPR that Ink corrections is currently being reviewed by the committee, which will determine whether it “contains any subject matter inadmissible under Florida administrative code.” Under the policy, the book publisher has the ability to appeal the decision.

“The next meeting will take place in the next few weeks, so it is too early to provide a decision for publication,” the spokesperson said.

State prison banned book lists raise questions

Coincidentally, as part of Blakinger’s work with The Marshall Project, she recently submitted records requests for state prison banned book lists.

She discovered that some state prisons ban the books on a case-by-case basis. Others have a fixed list of banned books.

“The size of these lists and the types of materials they include vary widely,” she said.

Some states have very small lists, with only a few hundred titles. Other states, such as Florida, Texas, Michigan, and California, have lists containing thousands of titles. And those that are chosen often don’t make much sense, Blakinger said.

“Texas banned The purple color. Michigan bans Dungeons and Dragons books,” she said, referring to the famous tabletop fantastic role play.

Michigan has also banned Spanish and Swahili dictionaries on the grounds that the books’ contents pose a threat to state penitentiaries. Prison officials said they fear inmates are learning an “obscure language” and are organizing against staff.

Some books are banned for security reasons, and with good reason, Blakinger notes.

“Maybe you don’t want books that teach bomb making. Certainly if someone gets the materials for a bomb, you probably have a much bigger security issue than the book,” he said. she declared.

Curiously, Blakinger found books advocating extremism and white supremacy like Turner’s Diaries and that of Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf are rarely prohibited in prison.

Blakinger provided NPR with a list of other books banned in the Florida prison system that she received via a records request. It seems that, for now, his memoirs is banned alongside pornography and books on the Japanese language, yoga, and fantasy football.

“[Florida has] one of the largest banned book lists in any state with lists I’ve reviewed. They’re the first I know to report mine,” she tweeted. But the idea that he poses a threat to security or the prison’s ‘rehabilitation’ goals is RIZIABLE. .my book is more restorative than Florida prisons have ever been.”

Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Lawmakers commit to funding treatment and rehabilitation https://criminaljustice-online.com/lawmakers-commit-to-funding-treatment-and-rehabilitation/ Tue, 25 Oct 2022 03:30:00 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/lawmakers-commit-to-funding-treatment-and-rehabilitation/ The Oklahoma state government has never honored the terms of two groundbreaking criminal justice reform measures that voters approved in 2016. State Question 780 reduced many nonviolent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors in an effort to reduce the state’s incarceration rates. The second initiative, State Question 781, directed savings from putting fewer people in jail […]]]>

The Oklahoma state government has never honored the terms of two groundbreaking criminal justice reform measures that voters approved in 2016.

State Question 780 reduced many nonviolent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors in an effort to reduce the state’s incarceration rates.

The second initiative, State Question 781, directed savings from putting fewer people in jail to a fund for “community rehabilitation programs.”

After years of wrangling over a formula to determine what those savings were, the Office of Management and Business Services says $70 million should have gone into the SQ 781 fund in recent years.

But that might change in the next session. On Monday, the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee spent the day on interim studies aimed at putting in place legislation to fully implement SQ 781.

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Another interim study day, by another committee, is scheduled for Wednesday.

“I voted ‘no’ on this state matter, (but) the people’s vote said, ‘It’s going to be done,'” the president of criminal justice and corrections reform said Monday, JJ Humphrey, R-Lane.

“We will move forward. … We introduced a bill last year, but we’re going to introduce a better one this year … trying to create statewide treatment centers that could serve all parts of the state that would be diversions for incarceration,” Humphrey said.

Committee members heard Monday morning from experts on Oklahoma state’s treatment, supervision and diversion programs. In the afternoon, they were briefed on the challenges of collecting comprehensive and reliable data on which to base decisions about these programs.

“At the end of the day, we’re all guessing because we don’t really have facts,” said Rep. Meloyde Blancett, D-Tulsa, who led the afternoon session.

The problem is that while SQ 780 has helped keep thousands of Oklahomans out of jail, the failure to implement SQ 781 means they are being released without the rehabilitation and oversight that was supposed to keep them out. to reoffend.

The situation is also putting pressure on county jails, which find themselves housing misdemeanor offenders who would previously have been charged with crimes and become the responsibility of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

“These are the type of people that we could actually turn away from the system if we had a program, but because of the way we’ve structured everything, we have nothing to do with these people anymore. We run them crime after crime after crime,” Humphrey said.

“You’re not going to kick meth on your own. You just aren’t,” said Amanda Marsee, a Western Oklahoma district attorney.

Damion Shade, executive director of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, said the confluence of surplus revenue and public will has given the state a rare opportunity.

“Oklahoma doesn’t exactly have an incarceration crisis,” Shade said. “It’s really more accurate to say that we have a mental health crisis that we’ve converted into an incarceration crisis.”

Shade said two-thirds of Oklahomans who need mental health treatment don’t have access to it, a share that could represent as many as 500,000 people.

“Investments in treatment are cheaper, safer and more effective in reducing crime than incarceration,” Shade said.

Almost everyone who spoke on Monday said the type of policy envisioned by SQs 780 and 781 will require more people – many more people – for supervision, treatment, drug courts. It will also require more money for technology.

During the afternoon session, representatives from law enforcement, prosecutors, researchers and court officials explained the difficulty of obtaining the data that Blancett said is needed to develop effective programs. .

The largest county jails in the state use different prisoner management systems than others. Same with district attorneys’ offices. Same with the courts.

This means that most data must be entered manually if and when it is transferred from one to the other.

Nonetheless, Humphrey said the legislature has an obligation to fulfill the task of providing safe and effective alternatives to incarceration.

“That’s what the people of Oklahoma wanted,” he said. “That’s what they wanted.”

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MANCI Hosts First-Ever Pumpkin Challenge in Ohio Prisons https://criminaljustice-online.com/manci-hosts-first-ever-pumpkin-challenge-in-ohio-prisons/ Wed, 19 Oct 2022 09:22:24 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/manci-hosts-first-ever-pumpkin-challenge-in-ohio-prisons/ Even Charlie Brown, Linus and the Peanuts gang would marvel at the large pumpkins grown across Ohio and displayed at Mansfield Correctional Facility on Monday. The Giant Pumpkin Challenge Weigh in at MANCI on Monday was a sight to behold, with pumpkins from about 12 of Ohio’s correctional facilities on display being transported by vans […]]]>

Even Charlie Brown, Linus and the Peanuts gang would marvel at the large pumpkins grown across Ohio and displayed at Mansfield Correctional Facility on Monday.

The Giant Pumpkin Challenge Weigh in at MANCI on Monday was a sight to behold, with pumpkins from about 12 of Ohio’s correctional facilities on display being transported by vans to Ohio’s 13 prison for an inaugural event aimed at bringing people together at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Belmont Correctional Institution won the first place trophy in the inaugural Giant Pumpkin Challenge Weigh In with a pumpkin that weighed 596 pounds.

The pumpkin, named Pipsqueak, had to be lifted by a forklift fitted with straps to be placed on the scale. Other pumpkins, less heavy, were carefully placed on the scales by men using tarps to lift their starters.

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